Lake Padden Park
4882 Samish Way
Every day 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Photo Credit: Jamie Heeringa
Lake Padden provides the best of many worlds - close to town, natural setting, plenty to do. The entrances on the north provide convenient drive-up access for horse trailers, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, swimming & fishing beaches, grassy lawns, boat launching, tennis courts, ball fields, trailheads, golf course, and even a small fishing dock. A pleasant contrast is provided by the more isolated south shore. The 2.6-mile loop around the lake provides a pleasant forest experience with occasional rock outcrops and lakeside views.
From a map a visitor might get the impression that a highway passes by the lake but locals know that a 1,000-foot-high ridge isolates Lake Padden from the bustle of I-5. Nestled in this valley, the park's peacefulness and natural setting is remarkable considering how close it is to Bellingham.
Trails wander out of the park providing hikers, bikers, trail runners, and horseback riders with extended distances and challenging terrain. A word of caution though: the rugged, and largely unsigned, wilderness of the outlying areas are enjoyed by many but are in sharp contrast to the developed sites around the lake. Trail users should take care that they are prepared when heading out or they may find a short hike becoming an epic journey as they try to solve the riddle of the labyrinth.
The ban on boat motors (except small electric trollers) makes the lake a favorite for fly-fishers and paddlers alike. The drama of the opening of fishing season, though crowded, is something to witness. Grizzled veterans and sleeping toddlers share the beach, tightly clutching their fishing rods in anticipation of the stroke of midnight. Other special events are held here including the Junior Ski to Sea Race, and families and local groups like to reserve picnic pavilions for annual get-togethers.
The park's wide range of features provides families and individuals with many options during the changes of seasons and lifetimes. From the easy grassy shoreline, to peaceful lake waters, to the well-respected golf course, to the steep rugged ridge trails, Lake Padden will give just about everyone something to enjoy. If its not already a place you frequent, why not visit Lake Padden soon and see what your favorite activity will be?
Take Samish Way southeast out of town, Lake Padden entrances will be a couple miles ahead on the right.
Kid Friendly | Biking Trails | Baseball Diamonds | Bathrooms | Picnic Area | Picnic Tables | Swimming Areas | Tennis Courts | Walking Trails
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San Juan Islands